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Last Updated: Friday, 27 August, 2004, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Sweet temptation back to worship
Back to Church Sunday poster
The campaign is aimed at the over-50 age group
A Manchester bishop is trying to tempt former churchgoers back to worship - with a gift pack of chocolate.

The Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch is supporting the "Back to Church Sunday" campaign.

Newcomers to the church will be given a special copy of newsletter Crux and a free bar of Co-op fair trade chocolate.

Mr McCulloch said in Crux: "We are all brothers and sisters in Christ... I wonder, have you ever thought of coming back to join us?"

The magazine also includes articles urging regular church goers to bring their friends along.

There are loads of people who for whatever reason have lost their contact with their local church
Diocesan Canon Evangelist Robin Gamble
The feature quotes research saying people are more likely to go to church if a friend invites them.

Diocesan Canon Evangelist Robin Gamble said: "There are loads of people who, for whatever reason, have lost their contact with their local church and who would come back with a personal invitation."

One of these such people is Kathleen of Leigh, who is quoted in the magazine.

"A friend invited me to her church. I needed that. I would have been daunted to walk in on my own," she said.

"When I went, I decided there and then this was the church I wanted to be at."

Back to Church Sunday takes place on Sunday 26 September across the region.

The campaign is being studied by researchers at The University of Wolverhampton, to find out how effective it is.

A spokeswoman for the diocese said the chocolate bars were put in as a "thank you."

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